Did you know that of the approximately 20 million Americans who run on a regular basis, close to 80% experience some form of running-related injury every year? Running injuries are usually the result of pushing yourself too hard and not taking enough time to listen to your body. Here’s a look at some common running injuries and how to avoid them:
- Runner’s Knee:This is an overuse injury that occurs because of the tremendous stress placed on the knee while running. Over time, the knee cartilage wears down and you experience pain with going up and down stairs, getting in and out of a car, or rising from a chair.
- Shin Splints:During running, repeated pounding of the feet on hard surfaces can result in the development of shin splints. It manifests as generalized pain along the front or inside part of the shin. Shin splints generally occur as a result of increasing the distance you run too quickly.
- Stress Fractures: These are small cracks on the bone surface and are usually caused due to running too often. They generally occur on the feet & shin but differ from shin splints in that the pain can be localized to a specific part of the bone.
- Achilles Tendonitis: This condition is characterized by pain in the large tendon that connects the back of the calf muscle to the heel bone. The problem may be due to repetitively stressing the calf muscle or not warming up thoroughly before running.
- Ankle Sprains: Overstretching the ligaments in the foot and ankle may occur when running on the uneven surfaces, using improper shoes, or not getting enough rest so the microtears in the ligaments can heal.
- Plantar Fasciitis: The thick band of connective tissue at the bottom of the feet called the plantar fascia can become inflamed when running causing intense heel pain. The pain may be very severe when taking your first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning.
- Foot Blisters: Foot blisters are fluid-filled sacs that develop due to friction caused by the rubbing of the socks against moist skin or wearing shoes that are too tight.
Most running injures can be avoided by:
- Wearing the right gear: This includes wearing well-fitting socks, running shoes with good arch support, and lightweight clothes that are appropriate for the weather.
- Properly warming up: Many injuries to the groin, calf, hamstrings, and quadriceps may be avoided by performing a 5 to 10-minute warmup and some light stretches before running.
- Running on the right surfaces: Try to run on even surfaces to reduce risk of injury. Soft surfaces such as grass or dirt trails are relatively joint friendly. If you run on asphalt or concrete surfaces, ensure your footwear has adequate padding to absorb some of the impact. Avoid steep inclines or hills until you have built enough stamina, strength, and agility.
If you have sustained an orthopedic injury while running that does not seem to be getting better with rest, visit the orthopedic specialists at The Carrell Clinic for an accurate assessment and treatment recommendation.
The physicians of The Carrell Clinic™ are committed to providing the highest level of orthopedic care in Frisco & Dallas, Texas. Book an appointment with us today.